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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 30, 2014 8:42pm-11:01pm EDT

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what a gorgeous day this is. thank you for addressing me as the world's largest commencement anglin. that is fantastic to be here. congratulations to this great class of 2014. congratulations to all of you. i really do not remember my graduation. i kind of remember sitting out been aut it might have late night at the 9-0. late nightve been a at my fraternity house. it probably was. him i have been many things but i do not remember my graduation. april asked me, have this great opportunity to speak all over the world. i get to talk to folks about technology. i will tell you there is asked me because i tell them i went to usc create how did you choose usc?
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them it was simple. my mom went here. my mom went to usc. she started here in 1957. mom knows best. congratulations to the parents of the class of .14. congratulations to my mother. i loved it here. i was loved being here. i was loved being here on this beautiful campus and i loved the incredible student body and going out to the athletic games. i loved the fraternity lifestyle. i love my marshall school of business and my entrepreneur program. i loved all the great musical
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programs and dance programs and all the great things we have it usc that make us a special and unique. i will tell you i love the student body here. i love the diversity of it. i love the meritocracy of it. i love the spirituality of it. moree that it usc we have catholics than that notre dame. which i think is a college in the midwest. is that right? jews here then brandeis. more hindus here and there's a lot of people like me who are grateful to god for this glorious day. i will tell you i was sitting out here not so long ago but life does go fast and i made an unusual decision. i was graduating on a friday just like you are here and
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monday i started work. i was ready to hit it. i was ready to get going. ready to make it happen. inspiredivated, i was by my commencement speaker and i was ready to go. monday i started at the software company called oracle corporation. this little software company. i got up there and they were excited and they were inspired. worked and ast you heard i had some great success there. i was the youngest bp and i went on and created some great products create a decade went by after my graduation. life goes fast. .0 years went by people are always overestimating what you can do in a year and
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underestimate what happens in a decade. a decade went by and all of a sudden i felt a little bit weird . i felt kind of unmotivated, an energized, not very excited. not very inspired. i was kind of in a bad mood. kind of grumpy. a little bit pissed off. boss. in and talked to my i am not feeling that great. i need to take some time off. he said go for it. good idea. very supportive. thirtysomething and i did what all lust thirtysomethings do. i went to india. and i tookto india with me one of my really good friends and we were touring india. he was born in new delhi but he had never been to india and i wanted to go to india. i was going to make good use of it. we had all these great cities
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from the north to the south to the east and the west. something amazing happened. hut and up in a little and wee area of india were sitting in a little hut with a guru. saint.edible female all the saints in the south are female. we were confessing our lives and worries and concerns and our exide he's and fierce and talking about life and what we and we wanteded to change and we were on our quest. they're sitting there in that hut and it was kind of fun and amazing at the same time. , monks were flickering were chanting. to he was getting ready
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start this new venture capital company. he took out his business plan therearted reading it and were going to be social networks and everything would get connected together. she sat there so patiently for an hour. it was great. i was inspired. she turned him and said this while you were working hard to change the world, i am sure that will all come to pass. do not forget to do something for others and he was kind of taken aback a little bit and i felt like she was talking to me.
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i found whatt like i was looking for. she said do not forget about other people. well we are doing this hard work. while we are changing the world. do not forget about others who well takene less care of them we are here. we left create the next day was our time to go home and that night we were on a rice vote on arabian waters of the sea and were eating our vegetarian meal going down this incredible river talking about that. businessis incredible and technology life and we have these amazing degrees and we're putting it into action. on the at the life we have this rebirth desire to do something for others. our challenge is how we're going to put this together
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. how are we going to put this together and we really had no .dea we went back to san francisco. i went back to my post at oracle and he went off to start his company. just as i arrived back a got a phone call. it was a facebook call to attend something called the american summit for the future. it was in philadelphia. it was incredible. i arrived in this huge conference room and it was being colin powell.eral was representing ronald reagan. the general came up and he came up on stage and stood at the podium and everyone in the
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audience were the ceo's and leaders of these major corporations. i looked around and i thought i am in some incredible company. i recognize these faces. and general powell stood up and he said, ladies and gentlemen, i bringt you here today to you something important. milton friedman was wrong. thatess is not business your companies, your organizations are some of the richest, most powerful resources we have in our great countries. but we need to do and he went on is we need to tap into your
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employees and we need to tap into your product. and everything that is going on in your organizations and you need to get out there and help our boys and girls clubs and ymcas and build safe places and do mentoring and tutoring for you to can integrate her corporations with the community that they exist in. you do not have walls around to hear that separate you from those that you are living next to. it was inspiring. he ended it and he said, just remember this area to get out there and do something for the people. said, wow, i have a second
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guru. hearing this and now i am in philadelphia hearing the same message and i said to myself, i think i am getting at here. i am understanding what is coming through me. i tell you what. and i back to oracle talked to my boss and said we have to create the foundation and do everything that general powell said that he said you are right and we're going to do it. i found myself in the day, morning time putting computers in -- in schools and wearing them and training teachers and working with kids. in the afternoon i was building products and markets and ichnology and it was awesome. think this is what i want to do. i kind of have both things going
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on. this is exciting. then i got a call from general powell. mcfarlandjust adopted middle school in washington, d.c. you need to go put those computers in there and i said yes sir, general. i will get it done. engineersy three top and 100 computers and we set them all out there and they were ready and it was a hot day out there when they arrived. hot like this. maybe hotter. about 110 degrees out. they had to bring those computers up three flights of stairs and we have called our local office to make sure there were employees there to help them. and then i, maryland got a call from jim. he said i got a problem. i said what is it? computers.got the i am here. the guys are here. the employees are not here. i do not know how we will get these
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up three flights of stairs and installed. i was worried and dejected i said i had better call general powell and tell him this will not happen. i got on the phone and called and i said general, we got the computers there and we got our engineers but the last day in the quarter and our employees could not get there and we will have to reschedule. i was asking for his forgiveness and the phone hung up on me. i said hello, general? he was not there. it was over and i felt so bad. powell, onegeneral of the great americans. i sat there at my desk and i said maybe i got this all wrong. trying to do this and put it all together and here i am and i just upset general powell. and then the phone rang again
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and answered the phone and it was jim. he said mark, a battalion of marines just arrived here and mcfarland middle school. they are installing the computers and we are fit to go. i said it is good to be a general. i learned something that day. what i learned is that if you're going to connect your business and your philanthropy you better make sure that it is integrated deep into your culture. it is not just something you will tack on. build an integrated business. you will get these things to work, people together. you can do it. when i started my company i decided to do three things. cloud computing. a radically new business model, subscription services for
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software. new philanthropy model. of equity and profit and employee time into a 501(c)(3) public charity. we had no products or equity or people. today salesforce.com is doing great. we will do a billion dollars in revenue. we're heading into the fortune 500. the top 500 companies in the world. admiredthe most software company for 2014. we are forbes' most innovative company in the world for three years in a row and where the best face to work number seven this year in the world. place,re the best work
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number seven this year in the world. @salesforce.com is my e-mail address. todayput that model in so i am proud to be able to tell you that we have given away more than 600,000 hours of community service this year. we have even away $50 million in grants and we run more than 20,000 not-for-profit and ngo's. and that was deep into our culture. firstalso tell you on the day of employment our new employees command and we show them where the desk is and where the kitchen is and they do something for someone else.
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they go out and learn that salesforce is a company that is about building great technologies and being innovative and creating new markets and also giving back and doing it simultaneously. that integrated by for so important. because the real joy in life comes from giving. it comes from service. it comes from doing things for other people. that is what is so powerful about this. .othing will make you happier you will love to come back many years from now and always remember this great day and your great time here at usc. perhaps one of the very greatest
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of all the universities in the world. the most useful universities in the world. look around at these beautiful faces. and all this incredible joy. one of the things that is most beautiful about usc is its commitment to service. they delivered 760 5000 hours of community service. that's what makes this community so great. -- 756,000 hours. [applause] today, wero then here drove through -- when we all drove through here today, we drove through some high fences and high fences and highgate. only a few blocks from here are some of the most impoverished people in the world. commitment to
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others is so important and everlasting. don't let those walls be a life.or for your own get out there and do something for others. fight on, trojans! [applause] job at intel and became the first marketing manager at google pioneering google image and google books. she became ceo of youtube earlier this year. she told the story of how it was andted in her home garage how to face failure.
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[applause] good morning, johns hopkins. it's a beautiful day. there is no rain. i've never checked the weather is much as i have this past week. you, president daniels, for inviting me here to share this special day with all of you. i'm honored to be here to share this with you. congratulations to the board of trustees, esteemed faculty, all the proud parents, supporting friends and family, but bigcially let's give a congratulations to the blue jay class of 2014. [applause]
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i've thought long and hard about what i wanted to say to all of you here today. i thought about my own commencements beaker, lessons veryed, and after thinking deeply about it, i realized i remembered absolutely nothing from that speech. i'll remember this a success if you remember just one thing. here's the first thing you can remember. setting achievable goals is important. let's get started. it turns out most of you were born the same year as the internet as we know it. you probably cannot imagine a
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world without texting, e-mailing, blogging, googling, and watching youtube videos probably when you were supposed to be studying on d level. yet none of those verbs existed when i was in my cap and down and now the world has over 2 million people doing those things every day. back then, only that things went viral like mono. [laughter] things you definitely did not want. now things like david after gangnam style, or the recent video of cats vicious dogs.from it proves that the world has changed since i graduated. the acceleration of technological process is unmatched.
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it will not slow down. it will only speed up. i want to share three stories from my life and how i think they can help you in the new, fast moving world you are about to enter. i joined google during the height of the first dot coom m boom in the 1990's. at the time, i was newly married in we decided to buy a house which was a huge decision. we can barely afford the mortgage so we decided we would rent part of our house and the garage. a mutual friend, we rented our garage to two graduate students at stanford who were looking for office space. they seemed nice. [laughter] their ideas sounded kind of crazy. back then, no one had heard of
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there a page, sergei brin, or the new company with a funny name. larryone had heard of page. google? what does that mean? it doesn't matter. as long as you build -- pay your rent on time, you can build your googly thing here. they would talk to me about how their technology could change the world. then they would go on equally excited about the fact that my house had a washer and dryer. [laughter] proclamations. we will organize the entire world wide web followed by -- which is recycling day? when i asked them how much experience they had to back this ambitious plan they would say, our combined ages almost 50.
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they were entering a competitive area. there were many well-funded search engines. famous at that time, although you've probably never heard of them, altavista, lycos, excite. if you aregine searching for something online and you said you needed to altavista the answer? let's excite that? you should be thankful to them for the name alone. i was working at intel at the time and i think i can say this now. i thought they were crazy. then, one day something funny happened at work. i opened up my browser to look something up and it turned out that google was down. there was an error page. i could not get my work done because i realized no other search server could find the information. i have become dependent on
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google for doing my day-to-day work. then it hit me. google had become so indispensable to me that maybe the vision was not so crazy. maybe there were people all over the world sitting in their computers upset right now because they could not yet with a needed2 done because the site developed2 by those two dudes in my garage was down. information matters to a lot of people. that information could instantly empower people across the globe. i decided i wanted to work for google which, at the time, was also crazy. with a mortgage to pay, student loans, i would have to leave a comfortable job at a fortune 500 company and work for the guys who lived in my garage and a handful of male employees and also did i mention that i was pregnant?
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thought i was the crazy one. looking back on this, i've learned that life does not always present you with the perfect opportunity up the perfect time. opportunities come when you least expect them. rarely are opportunities presented to you in the perfect way and the nice little box with the yellow bow on top. open this. it's perfect. you will love it. opportunities, the good ones, they are messy, confusing, hard to recognize. they are risky. becauseappen so fast our world is changing so much. you have to make decisions without perfect information. believe that the status quo will be supplanted by something better, someone's crazy business
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idea will become real and important. believed that this technology will be big in the future. this groundbreaking cancer research will save lives. john hopkins lacrosse cross will win the national championship. [applause] look. i know that the opportunity i've had with google may seem one-of-a-kind but think how much our world has changed since evolved grown up. think of the new technologies and discoveries just in your lifetime. out when youame were in high school and now you cannot live without them. you can share your video with clinics. in just a few take a picture. put a filter on it. to your music in
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the cloud. you could be doing this right now. instead of saying not to do that, if you are, just say something nice about my talk. #jhu2014. .t is not just the web nanotechnology, health, medicine, all parts of society. you have opportunities that you cannot even imagine right now so here's the one and you can choose to remember. opportunities, the ones that make you believe in the future that will be the best ones. those the ones that can change your life and can change the world. to talk about youtube. do you guys use youtube? [applause] i want to talk about how i first discovered it and then almost
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lost it. it's a story about recognizing an opportunity but also about facing failure. butow it's hard to believe, in 2004, there was no youtube. video on the internet was rare. we were trying to figure out the right strategy for google to be in the online video process. nothing was getting traction. wouldy, we decided we allow users to upload their video to google. we did not tell users what would happen to their video and we had no idea what users would send to us. it was an experiment in every sense. amazingly, people all over the lots andoaded lots and lots of videos and it just went into a database at google that no one could see. friday night, we got together and decided we would watch some of these videos and see what we
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should do with this new experiment. we opened it up and waited. it was of a purple furry puppet dancing and singing in swedish. you know, just what we're are used to watching on tv. probably one of the first user-generated videos anyone had ever seen. honestly, i had no idea what the tank. my kids knew what to think. they cheered. play it again. i played that video a lot. the videos were unusual. i have not seen anything like it before. everyone wanted to see more of them. we started building out a platform called google video for theirto upload and see videos. every day we were getting more and more uploads to google video. we had our first hit and it was not from where you thought it
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would be from. it was two college students in their dorm room singing and dancing to the backstreet boys with their roommate doing their homework in the background. in spite of this, it became the first video to reach one million views, which was a lot that then. to theve us an insight future of video. online video was a new medium and it could unleash the creativity of people all over and sparked curiosity of people who wanted to watch them. even though we knew it was early , it had the potential to be big. soon after we had our initial success, another site launched, youtube. and it started growing faster, a lot faster. sudden, we saw our newfound success slipping away.
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just after we thought we were winning, we found out we were losing. we were scared and confused. very quickly, i had to make a tough call. do we pretend things are ok and try to fix them, continue to build google video and hopefully catch up? do we admit our failure may look to acquire youtube, a company with no revenue, lots of legal that was only one year old and pay $1.6 billion for it? just as we were making this decision as if it was not hard enough, an industry veteran published a well read article saying only a would buy youtube. [laughter] -- only a moron would buy youtube. you know how this ended. i guess you can call me a. i had to go and say google video
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was losing and we would have to spend over $1.5 billion to fix the mistake. it was painful have a public. one of the hardest decisions i've had to make. people on my team quit and ruffle -- in revolt. acting fast, facing up to the problem, making a decision, buying youtube and investing heavily was also one of the best decisions that was ever made. today, youtube has over one billion users around the world and it has been used to develop and justinmacklemore bieber, although we will not dwell on that one for too long. [laughter] it has helped to build companies like go pro and has shined light
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on venezuela, egypt, and ukraine. they share songs like pharrell's "happy" and videos like this one. ♪ do the harlem shake ♪ that's the shortened version. [applause] that was in the library. anyway, you guys are very talented. that was really good shaking. [laughter]
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youtube over a relatively short time has become the primary platform for people to entertain, dance, sing, laugh, love, learn. if i had not owned up to my mistake and confronted failure fast, i would not be here today. maybe another possible thing for you guys to remember -- i'm trying to help you guys. when you fail, face your failure . face it head-on. admit it area to grow from it. right knows what the answer is and everyone will face failure. ideas that were once can't miss, miss. companies that were surefire went down in flames. it's what you do when that happens that determines who succeed to does not. it's part of the process.
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it's what makes us who we are. out at all of you, i'm reminded of my own graduation. i remember there were an awful lot of question marks forming. graduating, leaving behind my friends, my college life in that it had to figure out what to do with my real life. i had no idea what i was going to do. i had no job lined up, no prospect. my big plan was to go home, live with my parents, share the family car with my little sister. of you, that might sound like a strange fear. hopkins is a unique place. some of you have known exactly what you wanted to do since you set foot on this campus. many of you have useful dreams, biomedical engineering. public health.
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economics. [laughter] applied math. computer science. what else am i missing? ok, all those others. those, too. those are useful degrees. i had a degree in history and literature. ,hich is a great degree, too but they are some of the least practical majors and i combined them. it's not like i didn't have an idea about what to do after graduating. i thought about taking the foreign service exam, spending life as a diplomat. i even thought about medical school and how i could save sick people, but then i also thought about waiting tables, maybe opening a cupcake shop.
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in the meantime, life intervened. i became practical. i needed money after graduation and my parents were not going to pay my way anymore. i stopped worrying about getting the right job and i focused on just getting a job. although it was quite difficult that the time, i need to thank my parents for forcing me out into the work force. my mom and dad are here today. thank you for making me get up, get out, and do something. [applause] that something turned out to be technology. with just a few courses of computer programming, i found work for a small educational startup in palo alto. technology was created. i could build wings for people all over the world.
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it was the start of a journey that has led need to incredible places. it was never my plan. maybe one thing more to try to remember is plans are made to be broken. to need to be prepared explore a bit, make decisions on what you find, enjoy, discover. i never would have experienced any that or started my career in tech, joined google, led you to if i tried to stick to a specific plan that i had made when i was your age. the internet as we know it did not exist yet. we need to think about our plans being written in pencil, not pan. guarantee you will change course, go backwards, sideways.
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some of you will need to adjust the plans you currently have because they will turn out to be the wrong fit. some of you will start a business. fall in loveill and move halfway across the world. some of you could open a cupcake shop. thank you, in advance, to those people. there's the old john lennon quote. life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. aroundsit there and look saying you still have a lot to figure out, i don't know exactly where i'm headed, just know that it's ok and your parents should hear that, too. it's ok. if your parents have concerns, they can talk to mine. they are right over there in the front row. my parents could probably write a book of their round about the three crazy daughters and the journeys we took along the way that encompassed a babysitting,
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investment banking, siberia, learning swahili, childhood obesity, and starting a personal genomics company. so far, we've turned out ok. i'd like to take this opportunity to bank our parents and those who have supported us to get to this point so far in thank them in advance for their support as you fumble, frigid, and fail sometimes and figure out the right path for you. four were ever that path goes, i promise it could not happen without the people supporting filling the stadium who encourage and inspire you to get there. let's give them all a big thanks now. [applause] if you had told hopkins class when i graduated but the world
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would be transformed by the , that 2 billion people would be connected online, that you would find all the world's knowledge in your pocket, that you could map full genomes for a few thousand dollars, developed technology like star trek come and no one would have believed you. actually, this is hopkins so there probably would have been a few who said, "duh. we knew that." future was us, the beyond our imagination as it is beyond yours. this generation that has grown up in a digital world, you understand the power of connection like no other class that came before you. you can make an impact far engineers,n the secretaries, and 22 nobel
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laureates who came before you on this campus. yes, you. all of you here wearing those robes.ats and black you have opportunities that none of them could have imagined and now you have an education that will allow you to design and create the future for all of us. the world is spinning faster, but it's at your fingertips. you can spin it for yourself. soar.s blue jays, cancel remember this if you remember nothing else. you can be the crazy kid and some ladies arrived going on and on about how you will change the world and then you can go out and actually do it. so thank you, congratulations johns hopkins class of 2014. keep on thinking.
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[applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> the mayor of dallas mike rawlings was a commencement eager at southern methodist university. he told the graduates what he's learned as mayor. life andr ceo offered love advice. this is about the team minutes. -- this is about 15 minutes. [applause] >> thank you, president turner. it is an honor for me to be here today. you look good, by the way. it is an honor because this is
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truly a joyous day. it's a day to celebrate. we must live in this moment, and we must be self-satisfied if even for a moment. but if you're like me, you don't know how to celebrate. and if we're not celebrating today, we are not living in this moment. and if we can't live in this moment, we won't succeed when we are in the depths of self-doubt. so live in this moment, graduates. live in this moment, good parents. live in this moment deans, provost and president turner. today you can say you have done well. for tomorrow, you ride. you ride on a journey into your future.
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this journey, like the season of life, is long - at least we all hope it is. it's not just for one moment, not one game, not one play but a series of great moments. we must know when it's time to kick yourself and when it's time to pat yourself. today is one of those back- pat moments. i understand your anxiety. you must be asking what your journey holds. i remember leaving boston after i graduated from college, driving west on i-90 to texas. for me, singer james taylor said it best in his song "sweet baby james," when he sang -- "now the first of december was covered
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with snow and so was the turnpike from stockbridge to boston though the berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting with 10 miles behind me and 10,000 more to go." i'm still on my long journey and it's been a wonderful one. i hope yours is a journey filled with learning, leadership and love. we all must realize that we had a big head start on our journeys to get here. this is not a critical statement, because i had a head start as well. we all won the life lottery. it's like we went down to 7-eleven and won the powerball. to be healthy, with a full stomach, graduating from a school of smu's acclaim, on scholarship or not, in dallas, texas and in the united states
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of america. compared to the billions of people on the planet earth, you were dealt a great hand of cards. i know i was. [applause] we seem to have found our way to homer's elysian fields, the fortunate isles of the blessed in the western ocean at the end of the earth. there is no moral judgment from this fact. good or bad. it's just that, a fact. it was our fate, and is a matter of pure luck, timing and genes. but this fact of nature does raise the important question you face. that of what you are going to do now with that good fortune? are you like the servant in the gospel of matthew who takes the
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talent given to him and buries it to make sure he doesn't lose it? or are you going to put it to work, take personal risk and turn it into something that makes a difference in this world? it is your obligation to address this. now to answer that question, there are three other questions you should ask yourself -- how will you continue to learn throughout your journey? what type of leader will you become? what and who will you love? i know it feels like you've been learning your whole life, but to have a great journey you must continue to learn. never stop. search for the environments that teach you. work for people who expect the most of you and will reward you with gifts of wisdom. learning is what makes life exciting.
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in fact, that's why i decided to become mayor. i had no idea some 38 years ago that my journey would take me through city hall in one of the top 10 cities in the u.s. at that stage in my life, i felt there was so much more to learn, and i haven't been disappointed. i've learned that the wealthiest individuals have as much insecurity as those without money. i've learned about the heartbreak of poverty in dallas, which is more widespread and deeper than i ever realized. i've learned how to speak frankly, and how to subjugate my ego for the good of our citizens. if you are going to continue to learn, above all, you have to read, read and read some more. read books that are in your field. [applause] read books that are in your field. read books that aren't in your field.
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read books that you don't understand. and read books that are profound in their simplicity. i discovered one of those books recently when i participated in a sophisticated training session for future leaders in a dallas school. i got to read to kindergarteners the book "i like me," by nancy l. carlson. these books, that day, were printed for each student, with their name as the book's protagonist. one was printed for me. it showed me how one person can grab an idea and make it a reality and change lives. it also showed me the art of customization. each book was tailored for each student. they gave me one, too. the first page reads "i like me. i like my name, mayor mike. this book is written about me. i have made a great discovery. i am the only me here in this
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whole great big wide world." the importance of self-esteem for each of us, and these kids, is profound. this book, "i like me," is not about politicians. it's about each of us. it continues with how i like to work with people, how i like hugs and not drugs, and how i like all these things. on page 11 was a big one for me, "i like to tell the truth." as a politician, that is a very scary challenge because the minute you tell the truth, one side of the room does not like you. politicians like to be liked, because, i like me.
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however you continue to learn, just learn. make it a life mantra to learn until the day you die and your life will be ever so fulfilled. the next question you have to ask yourself, what type of leader are you going to become? the question is not whether you will lead or not, because i believe we are all leaders. simply put, a leader is a change agent, a person who impacts or changes the world. you have already done that. you have chosen to change your world by studying and graduating. you have decided to not let the absurd forces of nature and human mistakes send you into the shadows of disheartenment. but going forward you will have tough leadership decisions throughout your journey. this becomes an existential personal choice about you and
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the philosophical other. you and the world. are you going to change it, or is it going to take control of your life? i love stories of great leadership. let's turn back to some 50 years ago, when the mayor of dallas j. erik jonsson took office three months following the assassination of president john f. kennedy. now that was not good luck. it was arguably the nadir of our city's history. mayor jonsson answered that question of leadership for himself and for dallas when he challenged the citizens to to "dream no small dreams." fifty years ago he made a choice for dallas that put us on a track towards greatness from
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which we all benefit today. his city plan, called the "goals for dallas," laid out a blueprint of the city we live in today. now dallas-fort worth is the fourth largest market in the country behind new york, los angeles and chicago. we are the fastest growing, slated to be the third largest market by the 2020's. [applause] a huge catalyst to that growth was the dfw airport, the fourth busiest airport in the world. mayor jonsson dreamed of an airport, and he helped build one that is bigger than the island of manhattan. because of that, corporations relocated to dallas from all over the country and continue to do so today. it was recently announced that the north american headquarters of toyota was moving to plano.
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we have built the largest light rail system in the u.s. we got serious about higher education as well. all this because mayor jonsson led the citizens of dallas to "dream no small dreams" and to believe we truly were a city of opportunity. a young, 22-year-old new kid in town - that was me - bought into this. his leadership choice to "dream no small dreams" changed my world, and it impacts yours today. you see great leadership all around you on this campus, it's been happening for 100 years. the cary m. maguire center for ethics and public responsibility has already made a difference at dallas city hall. today i see it in the impact that students, teachers and dean chard of the school of education are making in west dallas. i see it in the students that
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are coming out of the cox school of business. i see it in coach brown on the basketball court in this very building where we saw how a basketball team and a university truly grew by great leadership. great leadership can be done quietly. like an anonymous courageous young man who berates his buddy for not treating women with the respect, dignity and the equality they deserve. [applause] i promised i would never make a speech without saying to young men, never hit a woman. [applause] never hit a woman. you can call a guy who hits a woman a lot of things, but you cannot call him a man. sorry, end of preaching, but i needed to say it. so when confronted with that old
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question that we all face: lead, follow or get out of the way, always chose leadership. the last question is more difficult to ask because it's a question of emotion, not brains. who and what are you going to choose to love? it's a critical question because it is through passionate love that we take learning and leadership and focus it to make a difference in this world. you will have to make this choice yourself, but i hope you choose to love the we and not the me. i hope you choose to love the good in the world, not the gold in it. i hope you choose to love your family, the one that's here
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today and the one that to come in the future, and not fame. remember st. paul in i corinthians 13:1, "though i speak with the tongues of men and angels, (and have graduated from smu) and have not love, i become a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." those are the choices dear graduates. those are the questions you face. will you continue to learn? will you clothe yourself with the cloak of leadership and choose the right thing to love? those are hard questions to answer, and the answers don't come like a sudden flash on high, but more like a mirage in a desert seen from a distance. but through hard work the answers become tangible, within your grasp, then finally, the most real thing you've ever encountered. they become part of you. so may your 10,000 miles to go, of which james taylor sang, be filled with hills of hard
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challenges to make you tough and curves of challenging decisions to make it exciting. may the support of those that love you be like the wind at your back. may you have the hunger of dissatisfaction mixed with hope. may your courage to do what is right be tempered with common sense so others will follow. and may you have the self-esteem to believe in yourself when no one else does and with the humility that you are a child of god trying to do his will. travel well my friends on your journey and never forget, have fun while you are doing it. thank you. [applause]
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>> as part of the 2014 we areement coverage joined by university of illinois professor cary nelson who has participated in a commencement selection process and has served as president of the american association of oppressors and his latest is no university is an island. how does the university of illinois and go about screening the person they decide to choose the commencement address? >> my role is as a faculty senator. we focus on the commencement speakers who will receive an honorary degree which is frequently the case across the country, that a commencement figure receives an honorary degree. senate has 200 faculty members in it that are elected.d --
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commencement speakers are proposed and we each get a copy with an vitae along explanation of why someone thinks they are worthy of a degree. in a senate meeting, we discussed the possible people. on a number of occasions, we have advised that the university not go forward with a particular person. just this year, we recommended .gainst two people they were not used. . will not give their names when the applications are given out to 150 faculty members, that gives a pretty good test of whether they are likely to be a problem.
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that's a wide enough constituency that if there are going to be problems, they will be raised at that point. >> did they take into account the wishes of the graduating seniors? >> all i can say is that this year there were no graduating senior responses. part of the problem with doing going to turnare someone down we want to avoid publicity. you don't want to embarrass someone. the purpose is to have a vetting process that avoids insulting or embarrassing it potential speaker. that is what has happened on many campuses this year. by the time the speaker gets announced there has not been a detailed vetting process. speakers a number of have withdrawn. others have been concerned that there would be public demonstrations. the whole purpose of that is to avoid it.
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i'm not sure he could keep the lid on the names if you expose them to the student body broadly . >> we want to show a recent cartoon on that very particular issue. some of them saying we believe we found someone who offended no one. someone screaming -- hold on, isn't that the walmart face? [laughter] typically, is this a process that happens at universities that the faculty senate has a strong influence on who was select did? -- selected? >> you need to get a broader field. speak onsial people college campuses all the time. they draw a large audience and they may speak before their particular constituency on campus.
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bedents and faculty need to challenged and they have many occasions to listen to very view.versial points of commencements are on. parents are there. the public is there. there's a very large audience. someoneend to want around with a greater degree of consensus to be built. are theentioned honorary degree. what about payment for speakers? do most get paid? withdrawn,eaker is would payment still be due? >> i doubt if a payment would still be due. when an honorary degree is offered, then the speaker may not get a fee or it may be much lower if there is an honorary degree. if you get the degree attached
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to your name, it stays with you until the end of your days. there are certainly speakers that are brought in really because there is a hope that they have a particular interest in a program that will be initiated or is ongoing at the university. really, they are honoring because of that shared interest and hoping if it's a wealthy speaker they will be donating to the university and the future. i've seen many cases where commencement speakers and honorary degrees are in fact targeted to people of means in the hope that they would work with the university in building some particular program that the university is concerned with. they are wealthy. they don't need the university's money. cary nelson, former president
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of the american association of university professors and he serves as an english professor at the university of illinois. our viewers can find out more at lson.org.ite, cary-ne >> i also think when to have announced the commencement speaker, withdrawing that imitation is basically an act of cowardice. i think it is really deplorable when the university does not have the courage to stay with its convictions. that's one of the worst things that can happen. it's also possible in my view to arvive a demonstration at commencement talk. there's nothing wrong in my view with an organized the menstruation, banner, chant, whatever taking place for 30 seconds or minutes for the
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people engaged in the demonstration said down. a lot of people feel that any demonstration is unacceptable and i actually think you can live with a demonstration so long as the people who are demonstrating except the notion they need to let the speech go on. what is totally in conflict with academic freedom is that they tried to prevent the event from taking place. who have withdrawn this season are afraid they might face that kind of demonstration. they try to prevent the speaker from continuing and that is happening in non-commencement situations a fair number of times in the last few years. that really reflects a failure to educate people on campus about the need to let people have their say when they are invited. professor nelson, thank you for joining us on c-span.
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>> c-span's coverage of 2014 commencement speeches continues tomorrow night the secretary of yale,john kerry at ambassador power at university of vermont burlington, homeland security secretary jeh johnson at morland college, and janet yellen at nyu. tomorrow starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. next, a house hearing on mandatory sentencing guidelines for federal crimes. president obama announcing the resignation of eric shinseki. then this morning's speech from secretary shinseki. >> my son paul was in the hospital at children's national and we were waiting to have his open-heart surgery. he had been diagnosed with
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congenital heart defect and had to have the surgery otherwise he would die. part of waiting for the surgeon to come back from overseas is being in that hospital and realizing all these other families are there and you are in the trenches with them. through nineen surgeries with various different problems. as daunting as the situation was, we were reeling from -- we were really feeling for them. the day of his surgery we came in and maggie's family was not there. she had passed away the night before. it was really hard to imagine that amway had spent so much time waiting for her to get out of the hospital and she did not make it. we went into surgery that day, an eight hour surgery, his first open-heart surgery of three. as we are sitting in the cardiac
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intensive care unit, we are watching my son's heart beating through the clear mastech bandage, the nurse comes over and says we have a phone call. they brought me the phone and it checking on mom paul's surgery. the strength, the grace, the fortitude that it took for a mother who had lost her child the night before to call and ,heck on our child was, i think a moment we would always remember. >> fox news channel anchor bret baier on his book "special heart," chronicling the issues of his son paul. next, the house judiciary committee over criminalization task force looking at the present cons of the way the u.s.
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prosecute criminals. they focused on mandatory minimum sentences in certain cases. the task force was formed to assess federal criminal statutes and make recommendations for simplifying statutes and regulations. this is just under two hours. >> the committee will come to order. the chair is allowed to call recess at any time. our witnesses today.
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an adjunct professor at georgetown law holding a number the federal in government. the u.s. attorneys office for the eastern district of virginia, counselor to the enforcement administration and special counsel to president george h.w. bush. he's written several op-ed .ieces he has been interviewed and quoted from "the new york times" and has testified as an expert witness before congress appeared on various programs and is a contributor to blogs. he obtained his undergraduate at the university of north carolina and his jurist or it -- juris doctorate. thechair recognizes
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chairman from north carolina, mr. holden, to introduce our second witness >> mr. evans and retired after more than two decades as a federal prosecutor and after significant experiences, he served as an assistant district attorney in both greensboro and their own. his experience will be invaluable to the task force consideration of federal penalties. the first assistant united states attorney in the eastern district. when i joined the office in 2002, he was already leading the task force to these taskand lead
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forces. throughout his tenure, he has demonstrated clearly that cooperative and sustained pressure on drug trafficking organizations could reduce the flow of drugs, remove the worst offenders, and drive down the crime rate to make our communities safer. large numbers of serious drug traffickers and gained the cooperation of defendants whose information was critical to our ability to disrupt and dismantle these organizations. received two directors awards from the department of justice for outstanding prosecutions and one from janet reno and one from eric holder in novembering 2013. i think his expertise and his deep knowledge of what works and
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what does not work will aid the committee as it considers issues currently facing our country in the area of gun control and policies. i'm pleased to welcome my friend and colleague here today and i hope all the members of the task force will benefit from his perspective. thank you. witness, mr. levin, director of the center for effect of justice of the texas public policy foundation and of thedirector initiative which he led the effort to develop in 2010. mr. levin help the fellow the blocked andhich was it has become a national clearinghouse for conservative criminal justice reform with outlets such as the new york times, fox is this news, and the
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washington post. he has testified on sentencing reform and solitary confinement at separate hearings before the senate judiciary committee and has testified before state legislatures. he served as a law clerk on the u.s. court of appeals for the fifth circuit and staff attorney at the texas supreme court. the next witness, mr. bryan stevenson represents the equal justice initiative. he is a faculty member at the new york university school of law. he has represented capital defendants and death row prisoners since 1985 when he was a staff attorney with the southern center for human rights in atlanta.
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since 1989 he has been executive director of the equal justice initiative, a private nonprofit law organization he founded that focuses on social justice and human rights in the context of criminal justice reform in the united states. eji litigates on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile defenders, people wrongly convicted or charged, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. mr. bryan stevenson has served as the visiting professor of law at the university of michigan school of law. he has published several widely disseminated manuals on capital litigation and written extensively on criminal justice, capital punishment, and civil rights issues.
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mr. stevenson is a graduate from harvard, with a master's from the kennedy school of government and a j.d. from the school of law. the witnesses' written statements will be entered into the record in their entirety. i will ask them to summarize each testimony in five minutes or less. to help you stay within that time, there is a light in front of you. the light will switch from green to yellow indicating you have one minute to complete your testimony. when the light turns red, it indicates the witness' five minutes have expired. at this time unless there is objection, i want to offer a statement of our chairman, james sensenbrenner, for the over-criminalization task force. know that our thoughts and prayers are for jim and his wife with the health issues that she has had for a week or so.
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our hearts and prayers go out for both of them. i have a statement here that i have entered into the record. hearing no objection, that will be so ordered. with that -- did you want to -- we will turn to the ranking member, mr. scott, for his statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. even though the united states represents only 5% of the world's population, we account for over 25% of the prisoners. since 1980 our prison population has increased 1000%. the average federal sentence has doubled and drug convictions have tripled. the so-called war on drugs has been waged on minority and poor communities of color even though data shows minorities are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs. the sentences are driven up by mandatory minimums. in fiscal year 2012 60% of convicted federal drug defendants were convicted of offenses carrying a mandatory minimum penalty.
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they are not the kingpins, leaders, and they are not organizers. the vast majority of couriers have the lowest criminal history category, and as a result many are nonviolent offenders. they are sentenced before they are charged or convicted, solely on the name or code section on the crimes. no consideration is given to the seriousness of the crime or how minor and role one may have played in the crime. the same code section that prohibits sex between a 40-year-old and a 13-year-old also prohibits sex between a 19-year-old and a 15-year-old high school student. they should not be given the same sentence, but mandatory minimums often require judges to impose sentences that violate common sense. the united states already locked up a higher portion of its
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population than any country. pew research estimated that any ratio of over 350 per 100,000 in jail today, anything about that, the crime reduction value of increased incarceration begins to diminish. they tell us any ratio above 500 becomes counterproductive, that you have so many people locked up that you're adding to crime rather then diminishing crime. you're actually adding to crime. the data shows in the united states our ratio is not only about 500, but above 700,
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leading the world. some minority communities have incarceration rates of over 4000 per 100,000, creating what is called the cradle-to-prison pipeline. since 1992 the average prison costs have gone to over $65 billion a year, and the rate of increase for prison costs was six times more than the increase in higher education. the rates of incarceration we have in this country, looking at crime and simply suggesting the main crime is we are not lucky enough people does not accord with science or common sense. all research shows that when compared to traditional proportional sentencing, mandatory minimums waste money, disrupt rational sentencing considerations, discriminate
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against minorities, and require judges to impose sentences that violate common sense. even when a prosecutor or judge all agree that after hearing all the evidence the mandatory minimum is too severe for particular case, there is no choice. the judge's hands are tied. congress is still trying to pass more mandatory minimums, even though there are more than 195 on the books. i believe what they call the first law of hole, when you find yourself in a hole, you need to stop digging. we just passed a new mandatory minimum last week. the grant of federal sentencing is the right thing to do. they're closer to the facts in each case. we also have to confront the
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fact that over the past 40 years congress has been playing politics rather than working to reduce crime in a smart way. we have seen alternative strategies that could be used, like the youth act that takes a proactive approach. it puts cost-effective approaches in crime reduction into play at the community level with full community involvement. this strategy will not only reduce crime, but also save money. it will essentially dismantle the cradle to prison pipeline and create a cradle to college and career pipeline. in terms of justice reform, we need to focus efforts on distinctly federal interests and ensure that the sentences are being legislated. we need to make sure that federal collateral consequences
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of convictions are not served as a continuing punishment and burden on individuals who have already served their time, but most of all we have to oppose mandatory minimums so we can eliminate the over incarceration that violate come in sense and increases rather than decreases crime. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. scott. i would ask mr. conyers, do you wish to make an opening statement? >> yes, mr. chairman, i would, please, if it meets with your approval. thank you. thank you. this is so important, and i welcome the witnesses and look forward to their testimony. but the over-criminalization task force finally focuses today
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on what is the most critical failing of our nation's criminal justice system, the continuing prevalence of racism as evidenced by federal charging and sentencing regimes that clearly discriminate against people of color. the racism has permeated our nation's history since the beginning. the constitution, of course, referred to slaves as 3/5 of a man. the civil war was fought to abolish slavery. and then the jim crow raised its ugly head and the segregation and tactics that follow are a matter of fact. we are now approaching the 60th anniversary of brown v. board of
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education, which struck down separate but equal as the law for land, and just last year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and the passage of the civil rights act. as a nation, we have come so far. we would like now to think that our justice is colorblind, that our system is race neutral, but whether overt or subconscious, the vestiges of racism are still reflected in our federal criminal justice system, and it is all the more insidious for it.
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that is because criminal justice is meted out by human beings with human failings, including bias. no longer does jim crow and overt racism rule the day. but rather, coded phrases, such as policing high-crime areas and stop and frisk policies are the norm, and combined with mandatory minimums, so expertly referred to by our colleague mr. scott, and stacking enhancement penalties and the so-called three strikes statutes, it is these concepts that disproportionately affect communities of color, drawing more and more people into an antagonistic and unforgiving criminal justice system. to provide some perspective regarding this problem, i just want to breeze through this.
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the last 40 years, in the last 40 years, the united states prison population has grown by 700%. and now it accounts for 25% of the world's prisoners. the number of federal prisoners alone grew by nearly 50% from 2001 to 2010. not only 4% of the federal crimes carry mandatory sentences, 34% of those in federal prison are serving mandatory sentences. moreover, the ratio impact of the federal penalty system is wildly disproportionate.
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one in three black men and one in six latinos will spend some part of their lives in prison, compared to one in 23 white men. blacks represent 12% of total drug users in the country, but account for a fraction of drug-related arrests. now, these numbers are far worse in segregated and impoverished communities. in addition to the devastating societal costs of mass incarceration, it also results in a massive economic cost. the so-called war on drugs has cost $1 trillion since the
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beginning and the cost to run our federal prisons costs $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. so before we identify solutions, we must recognize how we institutionalize and normalize racism today. that is what makes this discussion this morning so important. i want to focus on how racism, unconscious or not, has a disproportionate impact on criminal penalties on minority communities. bias can begin with the decision of where and what offenses are investigated. with enough time, and officers in a certain location, it is only a matter of time before they find reasonable suspicion to stop him it detain, and arrest someone or many people.
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at the prosecutorial phase, this can be magnified by decisions about what charges to bring, what plea deal to offer, and whether mandatory minimums and enhancements apply. people from poor communities of color are more likely to receive harsher charges and mandatory penalties. the mandatory minimums and statutory enhancements so ingrained in the code that were intended to target kingpins do no such thing.
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they are now focused on nonviolent offenders who are disproportionately people of color. the threat of these de facto life sentences coerces defendants into pleading guilty. they oppose a penalty on those who use their constitutional right to a jury trial. i am almost there, mr. chairman, and i thank you for your indulgence. finally, at sentencing, people of color receive harsher sentences than would whites for the same conduct through mandatory minimums and other sentencing enhancements.
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racism in america has for the most part ceased to be overt. but the prevalence of institutionalizing discrimination by writing it into law is as present today as it was 100 years ago. the question is this -- what can we as a congress do about these pressing issues? finding solutions to unconscionably institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system is not an easy task, but there are steps we can take. we can begin by rolling back mandatory minimums and stacking enhancement sentencing that result in cruel and unusual punishments for what are too often low-level offenses. we can use the judiciary with discretion in sentencing. we can reinvest the judiciary with discretion in sentencing.
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not all judges are immune to bias, but in doing so we allow the possibility of proportional sentencing and the ability to overturn unduly harsh sentences due to abuse of discretion. i conclude on this point -- >> you are double your time, and if we do that, we are not going to get through because of the folks that are coming. >> all right, i would just omit the rest of my statement. >> i have waived giving my statement and offered mr. sensenbrenner's for the record, but with this discussion about racism. i will make this point. i was a judge for 10 years. i tried three capital murder cases in tyler, texas. two were of anglos. one was an african-american. the two anglos got the death penalty. the african-american got life.
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so i do not always have the appreciation for racism entering into every aspect. someone had raised an issue of, gee, since the judge appoints the grand jury foreman, who have the leadership role in the grand juries, so i was attacked before they check my record. i never ever considered race in appointing foremen for my grand juries. they found i had a much higher percentage of african-americans as it turned out we were grand jury foremen, not just because of race, but because they were
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foremen on the grand jury, i do not find an issue in the courtroom at all. i would ask the chairman of the full committee, you wish to make your full statement? >> yes, thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to be here at the third hearing of the over-criminalization task force following its reauthorization earlier this year. this hearing will focus on the penalties imposed for violations of federal law. as others have noted, the subject of penalties is a very broad topic covering a wide array of complex legal and policy issues. many of these issues have already been covered in detail by this task force, including the need for adequate intent in the federal criminal law, the problems regulatory crime, and the need for criminal code reform. the issue of adequate mens rea is of particular interest to me, and is significant when considering penalties of violations of federal law. as i and other members of this task force have stated repeatedly, no american citizen should be subjected to a federal criminal penalty without the
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intent to do something the law forbids. today we hear from our panel about these and many other issues associated with federal entities. federal minimum sentences are a significant part of this. advocates for reform to minimums have argued that these reforms are necessary to ensure low-level nonviolent offenders, particularly in drug cases, are not serving long prison sentences. i have some concerns about many of the proposals to reform the federal sentencing scheme in this way. i am open to hearing arguments on both sides of this issue. one ever-present hurdle to reform in this and other areas is the repeated actions by this administration to circumvent congress' constitutional role in drafting, considering them, and passing legislation important to the american people. at the judiciary committee's doj
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oversight committee hearing last month, i questioned the attorney general at length about the holder justice department's persistent attempts to change the law. i do not believe any of us received satisfactory answers. it will be difficult to find support for reform if congress cannot trust the administration will abide by these reforms for i can assure everyone that under my leadership the house judiciary committee will continue to closely monitor and analyze this and other issues associated with the imposition of federal criminal penalties, and i'm confident the task force will continue its outstanding work. i want to thank our distinguished panel of witnesses, and i look forward to their testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. with that, we are ready to proceed under the five-minute rule with questions.
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at this time, mr. otis, you may proceed. >> mr. chairman and ranking member scott and members of the committee, i'm honored you have invited me here today to talk with you -- >> is the green light on your microphone? if you would pull that closer so we could -- so everybody here could hear. we have spent too much time getting here for people not to hear what you have to say. thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee, it is an honor for you to have invited me to talk today about this important subject. the task force is concerned about over-criminalization, and is particular about the proliferation of statutes that
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impose criminal liability without the traditional requirement that the defendant harbor bad intent. such statutes undermine the legitimacy of criminal law, which is understood by ordinary people to forbid only behavior the average person would recognize as wrong. i'm happy to take questions on this subject and have written articles about it. i want to focus for the moment on a different topic, mandatory minimum penalties. serious mandatory minimums continued to be needed. under current law, sentencing judges have wide discretion, as they should. but judges and the judicial branch can make breathtaking mistakes. some of you viewed citizens united as one of them. all of us view plessy vs. ferguson as a drastic mistake in american history. judges are not infallible. the framers recognized in adopting the separation of powers that no one person and no one branch should have 100% discretion 100% of the time. congress is fully warranted for that in certain crimes, but strong rock bottom sentences must be imposed. criticism of mandatory minimum sentencing is often at the heart
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of the charge that the federal criminal justice system is broken or failing. it looks broken to a heroin trafficker. but the health of the system is not measured by the incarceration rate, but by the crime rate. by that standard it is anything but broken. crime is down 50% over the last 20 years in the era of mandatory and longer sentencing. would that some of our other vastly more expensive domestic initiatives have had anything like that success.
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much of the debate now seems to be driven by two misconceptions. the first is that mandatory minimums require federal judges to imprison for years some high school kid who is been caught smoking a joint. that is simply false. mandatory minimums apply overwhelmingly to trafficking in deadly drugs. the second misconception that having a larger prison population is a bad thing. one might as well think that having more criminals in jail rather than in your neighborhood is a bad thing. when criminals are not imprisoned, they do not just disappear. five-year recidivism shows that
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more than 3/4 of drug offenders return to crime after their release. if we go back to the naïve failed policies of the 1960's and 1970's we will get the results of that time. lighter sentencing at the federal level is already largely the new norm. the prudent thing for congress to do is to assess over the next few years whether those developments and their promise of cost savings and no increase in crime turns out to be true. last summer the attorney general himself directed that, for drug defendants for whom some legislation would've applied, prosecutors are no longer to seek mandatory minimum sentences. this new policy has effectively mooted a large body of mandatory minimums and has shifted discretion back to judges. the sentencing commission has adopted a two-level reduction in guidelines for almost all nonviolent drug offenders. this produces notably shorter sentences and that recently for the first time ever more sentences are being given lower guidelines. perhaps most stunning is the administration's announcement of
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impending clemency for hundreds and more likely thousands of offenders serving what it views as excessive sentences. in an unprecedented move some of the defense bar has been given a broad role in proposing clemency candidates. with these proposals already in training, congress has the opportunity to see for itself whether more discretion and lighter sentences keep their promise of frugality and low crime. maybe they will. maybe they will not. it is only common sense for congress to find out before weakening a system we know has helped keep us safe. >> thank you, very much. we will hear from our next witness, mr. evenson.
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the 1980 plus i was a state prosecutor and when we would do drug cases in front of a court we would often hear the complaint that you're only getting the little guy. you're not getting the big fish. unfortunately as of weaker state laws and diminished resources there was a lot of truth to that complaint. prosecutions are based on two things. you have to catch the drug dealer in possession of drugs or you have to catch them selling it. as a result what ends up happening is you oftentimes do not get the source of supply.
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weak.ate laws are too the resources are too minimal. what happens is the leader of the drug organization is largely untouchable for years. we all live in communities where people say why don't they get that big drug dealer? and all the neighbors know that. this is why. the state laws do not have the leverage that is needed. in 1990i became a united states assistant attorney. i realize that we focused on a different set of defendants. ones that were selling significant quantities of drugs enough to trigger minimum mandatory sentences. congress mandated that we pursue these organizations and provided includinge tools sentences we needed. here's the key difference between state and federal prosecution. sometimes average man on the
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street does not understand what we are doing. it is this. is called conspiracy law. if you do not remember anything else i hope you remember that. i will explain how it works on day-to-day basis and it will show you where the rubber meets the road. charge ther us to leader of an organization we do it with a conspiracy law because they do not sell undercover officers. they sell it to their conspirators who sell it on the street at the retail level. what do we need to charge conspiracy in federal court? simple. we need co-conspirator testimony. that is how we do it. fish we havehe big cap the corporation of the smaller fish. assistant united states us it -- attorney worth his salt knows this. nouring their cooperation is easy task. they do not want to cooperate. this is hard, mean business.
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is the sentence they face is too low they will tell you they can do their time standing on the head. i have debriefed personally hundreds of arrested drug dealers and explain to them in the presence of their attorney the need for them to assessed and -- assistant test of my truthfully. congress provided their sentence could be reduced by the judge if they assisted. they are facing a strong minute them mandatory sentence and the only way they will get a sentence reduction is to substantially assist. they have to be willing to testify. this straightforward choice of andons designed by congress enforced by the department of justice has led to the dismantling of numerous drug organizations in every district
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my city, and town in america. without the cooperation of these co-conspirators, federal law enforcement will be unable to charge and arrest these leaders and sources of supply. without minimum mandatory sentences many if not most would simply refuse to testify. minimum mandatory sentences and the presumption of pre-child u.s.tion has given attorneys the leverage they need to garner these witnesses and stop drug organizations. if this leverage is removed or weekend, then vital witnesses will become unavailable. it is very simple. in essence reducing the minimum mandatory will substantially cut down on our witnesses. -- fewerdealers will drug dealers will be arrested and we will revert back to convicting only the lower-level dealers. we can buy directly from where
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we find in possession of drugs. we will not able to convict the sources of supply. i have just a few more minutes? >> your time is up. thank you. we will proceed with mr. levin. where pleased that congress is looking at various options. reexamining policies and improving programs and prisons and strengthening reentry so we can reduce that i
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-- highof is him recently was a rate. we recognize although there has been a sixfold increase in incarceration -- incarceration .ates we believe the pendulum swung too far. we have too many low-risk offenders behind bars. we have a better ability to supervise more nonviolent offenders. over the past several years we have worked with conservative governors and make -- lawmakers to enact successful reforms including many dealing with mandatory minimums. 29 states have reduced minimums relating to nonviolent offenses.
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crime has declined in south carolina. we would argue that we need to .e-examine mandatory minimums inber one they can result prison terms. the vast majority affected are not kingpins. that is seven percent of those cases. instead we need to do is look at the fact that most individuals are nonviolent. -- more than half had no prior record. 84%, no weapon involved.
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one example is if they had an offense even if it was decades they cannot have a gun. the federal judge in that case including conservative ones have said this is excessive. of course mandatory minimums are supposed to produce conformity but they have not done that. what we have seen is across that variesricts, to medically. another question is we have to reason theymain came into being.
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judges were exercising excessive discretion. 17.8% or as a result of judicial departures. more than 30% came from urging of prosecutors. are adhering closer to the sentencing guidelines. it has been argued mandatory minimums are necessary to require and it -- encourage defendants to plate guilty. fact the commission found a greater percentage of those criminal charges do not apply to mandatory minimum results. to haveinly do not want [inaudible] ranges. therecing does need to be some constraint on judges.
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let me address a couple of other issues. are still talking about people going to prison for a long time. been convicted of , that is real-time. let me conclude by saying we would urge congress to rein in and consolidate the common allies in one code. codify the rule that says -- making sure that they prevail. >> thank you very much. recognized for five minutes. >> i want to express my opportunity tohe
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appear before you today. i want to contextualize how serious the problem of over criminalization and over incarceration is. that now new reports that 60 million americans have criminal records. if they had been arrested and are subject to all the restrictions that come with a criminal record. a consequence of a policy choice we made to treat addiction and position as a crime problem rather than a health care problem. many of our allies have made a different choice and have seen drugtic reduction in abuse. we have seen the opposite. the consequence of that choice is what has put states in great crisis. i would like to look to the states for some leadership
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on these issues. deal with have had to the consequences of over incarceration. prisonson in jails and and $80 billion today. many state governments found themselves and their state budgets bankrupt. they have made the decision to .etreat states have seen their crime rates fall. -- seeing their budgets improve and that lesson is an important lesson or this task force. there are concerns that need to be addressed. when we had mandatory minimum sentences we did not eliminate discretion. there is the theory that we are going to solve inequality by
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taking discretion away from judges. what we do is we take the discretion and shifted from the judge and give it to the prosecutor. all of us bring biases into this process and to a power -- empower any agent to exercise the kind of power that now exists with no transparency, no accountability i think creates the kind of disruption that we have seen. i want to emphasize that the overwhelming majority of people serving long sentences for mandatory and minimum sentences are not the kingpins. i agree. if we want to go after these kingpins i do not have any concerns with that. the commission estimates two thirds of the people are serving the sentences are low level or mid-level offenders. it is that consequence we can address by reform. particular problems that i think
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-- that i think are being reflected and one of the effects we are having on communities, i go into committees were right talk to 13 and 14-year-old kids who expect to go to jail or prison. you cannot have the kind of data we have. without it having serious many ofal consequences. the data suggests we are pushing into people -- people into crumb and crime lifestyles. going into theen system has increased. children, we have federal statute that allow prosecution of children as young as 13 to be subject to life sentences. some for behaviors that do not reflect serious crime categories.
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that creates disparate and toust outcomes. i want emphasize two things. there are 17 states that have reduced the statutes and seen the crime rates fall. we should look to the states with the kinds of adjustments that need to be made. blessing i want to emphasize is we are at a moment where we have unparalleled widespread consensus. people on the right and left recognize that we are spending and wasting too much money on incarcerating people who are not a threat to public safety.
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it creates a opportunity to lead this congress. the voters of california in a referendum in every county voted mandatory minimum sentencing. that is the signal of this task force to move forward on this important issue. >> we will begin the five-minute questioning. since i have got to be here till the end emma i will recognize the chairman of the full committee for five minutes. >> let me commend all four of these witnesses. you have had great presentations and you have focused this discussion in the debate. includingmmunities many in my congressional district in western virginia that has been a spike in deaths associated with carolyn including among young people. do you believe it could send a bad message to young people to have the federal government
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reduced penalties across all drug penalties including for heroin? >> i can hardly imagine a worse message. i was appalled the other day when i think it was on a monday give the attorney general a talk recommending some legislation pending that would substantially cut back on mandatory minimums without ever drugsning the specific including heroin to which mandatory minimums apply and the very next day i saw him announce that there was a crisis going on . peoplent to give other the opportunity. let mr. stevenson respond. >> i think that we are not going heroin, use off these serious drugs by creating are sure penalties. when you have a disability or disorder the last thing or are
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thinking about is what kind of sentence i'm going to serve. we will disrupt the epidemics we have identified -- identified with interventions that ignites what gets works to -- what works to get people off of heroin. we have models that will help us achieve that but we will not do it through sentencing. >> if you are not enamored with the best present proposals do have any suggestions or are you sickly standing pat? >> i do. support stronger reform that is currently being proposed that it would be reform in a different direction. i would retain the requirement that the attorney general list statutes.ns rea
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such explanations would have to include a discussion of why regulations could not more effectively and fairly be processed is civil matters. i would eliminate incarceration as a punishment for non-mens rea is crimes. and undertaken by the three agencies that have experience with this. >> let me cut you short. i am interested in reforms -- i would like you to submit those to us. i am interested at this hearing about mandatory minimums and alternatives to those. because my time will run short let me turn next to mr. levin. you state that a primary focus of the right on crime initiative is maximizing the public safety return on the dollars spent on criminal justice. do you assert there are no costs involved with the early release of drug offenders into
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communities where the mechanism is reduced penalties, broadened provisions, or executive clemency? i will tell you what we have worked with many states on is how do you take some of the savings if you are going to have people serve slightly less time, how do you take some of those savings and reinvest them in stronger parole supervision, reentry programs where people have to be drug tested, have to report to a parole officer, cannot see certain people including gang members, all .hole host of models we need to make sure when we have people coming out of prison earlier who are determined to be low risk that we then make sure they have the supervision so they do not go back to their old ways. your 23 years as a federal prosecutor how often were drug
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trafficking cases brought in your district where the quantity was below the statutory mandatory minimum level. >> i cannot think of anyone. >> anybody else want to respond? >> the majority of the defendants that were brought in had prior drug convictions in >> is it your opinion that these are serious drug offenders and not occasional users? >> absolutely. the individuals were heavily disturbingth narcotics and they usually had prior state convictions that resulted in no time of probation, suspended sentences and when we were able to obtain necessary evidence against them we were to bring the men and convince them they were looking at strong minimum mandatory sentences and it was at that
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point they realize they wanted to cooperate. that is how we built our case and win of the two it -- chain. if i could say this. drug organizations set up strongholds neighborhoods and they affect anybody in that community. the law-abiding citizens in that community and buthe congress -- congressman here said, we represent many of those ports -- wetities of color arrested a significant drug trafficker. >> if you want to submit something for the record, we would welcome that. >> the ranking member would be
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asking questions for he has would like toe he yield to the overall raking member of the community. >> thank you. ,et me begin with mark levine policy director. i want to express my appreciation for this discussion by going on here. it is quite balanced and quite revealing. mr. levin, can you speak of are jose serrano is or reduced mandatory palaces and their and then the crime rate cooperation rate? >> thank you. one of these examples is michigan. in 2000 they eliminated their drug mandatory minimums.
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the second decade property crime there was another .xample that rollback drug courts are one of the best solutions we have. they rolled back drug sentencing laws. the penalties and they have seen crime continue to decline. texas, we're are definitely still tough on crime and we say we are tough and smart. that does involve making the sentence for the crime. for our drug position cases, your sentence can be two to 10 years. i think that we need to do is the heroin epidemic was mentioned earlier. there is new pharmacological interventions to block the receptors. so the heroin addict
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does not feel anything anymore. a certain amount of kingpins will continue to get heavy federal sentences and we are talking about mandatory minimums. it could be sentences above that. that is just before. no one is eating -- talking -- rid ofing ready reforms. that is a lot of incentive to cooperate with the prosecutor to tell the judge this guy is fully cooperating. i just played out. i do not either we need penalties that are unjust to convict a third party. we had to focus on what sentence fits the crime in that individual case before the court. >> thank you. so there has been in effect no .ncrease in crime rates
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when we have reduced these penalties and the plea rates and cooperation have gone on. >> i think that is correct. the federal system is a very small percentage. there is over 2 million people locked up. 10% are in the federal system. i would argue that some of the best things we could do to reduce crime and have been doing are like policing. we can deter crime by having police in the right places. again with the department of justice we're getting to a point where close to one third is the reason system and we could be using those funds for prosecutors and other strategies. >> is this from the state that you are giving us this experience? state instead of federal? >> i was pointing out that the crime rates are more tied to state policy because the vast of defendants are
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sentenced so the government has limited effect on the crime rate. crack reductions, there was no increase in recidivism for those offenders either? ourn texas we have seen crime rates lowest since 1960. our probation and parole recent of his rates have fallen dramatically. it is because instead of building more prisons we took that money and put it into strengthening probation, lower caseloads, more treatment programs. i think the federal government can learn from that. question ask my final to mr. otis. the media chooses how to portray the face of crime. it can choose to paint the face or someoneal as one of color. law-enforcement decides which
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neighborhoods and crimes to focus on. they can decide which cases are president for prosecutors and frequently decide who is charged with mandatory penalties and who is not. are you saying that it is or --ible for bias unconscious or not to seep into our system? >> of course it is not impossible for bias to get into the system. anyone who would say that is out of their mind. nor is it impossible for
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ideology or naïveté to creep into judges on decisions when they are not constrained by a mandatory minimum. that being the pornography case. they imposed a sentence of 30 months who did not really possess but the strip he did chop and under free and i am not talking here just about nude pictures of teenagers. i'm talking about elementary school-age children and contorted poses and i will not describe them in a setting like was area the district edge so influenced by his personal opinions and so convinced that congress must men -- minimum applied that he sentenced the defendant to 30 months. with a majority of democratic appointed judges reversed him
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and the only reason that panel was enabled to require the judge congress had had the wisdom to say for a crime like this you cannot go below that. >> professor otis, you sound more reasonable this morning than i could have had any right to expect, and i thank you for your -- >> i apologize. [laughter] >> please do not. >> we recognize the gentleman from alabama for five minutes. >> thank you. i noticed there was agreement that we ought to focus on the kingpin, the organizer, and i think we agree that to do that you have to get cooperation from someone down the line. with that in mind, i want to ask you about that
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